‘Under the Dome’ 2.02 Recap: The Very Hungry Caterpillars

This week’s episode of ‘Under the Dome’ leaves me with a big question. No, it has nothing to do with any of the events in the episode; rather, I wonder how many more of these I have to sit through this summer. The first season was at least wacky enough to remain entertaining. This season, I find myself struggling to pay attention as the show becomes a silly soap opera with some pretty clueless characters.

So, it turns out that Angie really died during the attack at the high school. Junior discovers her body (covered in butterflies) after Big Jim sends him off to open the school. Speaking of those butterflies, science teacher Rebecca notes that they’ve been producing a massive number of eggs, which are hatching into caterpillars and eating up all of Chester’s Mill’s crops.

Joe and Norrie take a walk in the woods when they come across the still-unnamed young girl that Julia rescued from drowning. She doesn’t know how she got there, so Joe and Norrie take her back to town. On the way, they pass the high school, which has been blocked off with police tape. Barbie comes out and tells Joe the bad news about Angie.

The girl is brought to Julia’s place, and Barbie is immediately suspicious of her. When they see a large cloud of smoke from the house, Julia and Barbie discover that Rebecca has been setting fire to some of the fields to burn off the butterfly eggs. Later, back at Julia’s house, she has a talk with the young girl, who claims that someone else killed Angie – and that someone was definitely a man.

Julia takes this bit of information over to Sam at his cabin, even though it’s obvious to every viewer at home that Sam is the most likely suspect for Angie’s murder. Sam reveals that he’s Big Jim’s brother-in-law, and that Big Jim’s wife, Pauline, was his sister who committed suicide. He shows Julia Pauline’s book of drawings with one that looks exactly like the young girl, and tells her that Pauline drew that picture 20 years ago.

Big Jim is convinced that the butterfly infestation and the crop issues are the dome’s way of testing him once again. Instead of burning more fields, Jim plans to fly a small plane and spray pesticide on the crops. While he and Rebecca argue about who should fly the plane, Barbie takes off in it and does the job himself. He has runs out of fuel after scraping the edge of the dome with the plane (to spray the final field), but thanks to Big Jim telling him about a reserve fuel tank, Barbie lands safely. The result of this action by Big Jim is that more and more citizens of the town trust him to be their leader.

Joe doesn’t know what the young girl has said about another man killing Angie, but he does know that a woman’s shoe print was found at the crime scene, so he takes the girl’s shoe to new town sheriff Phil to see if it’s a match. Of course it is. Phil takes the girl into custody, where Joe, Junior and Norrie pay her a visit. Junior is ready to shoot the girl, but can’t do it, so Joe takes the gun. However, Julia arrives on the scene to stop him and tell them all that a man was responsible for the murder.

At a church service for Angie, Big Jim uses the eulogy to give the town a little pep talk that reveals just how much everyone (except for most of our main cast, of course) trusts him. There’s also an indication that Rebecca will influence Jim’s decisions and side with him in the future. She tells Big Jim that although they stopped the butterfly issue, the town doesn’t have enough resources to support the entire population.

Over at the police station, Junior has been sleeping in a jail cell because he doesn’t want to go home to his father. Under the bed, he finds Angie’s bracelet (which Joe claims she never went without). Junior, who blacked out drunk the night before, now thinks that he may be responsible for her murder… and who’s the first person he confides in? None other than Uncle Sam, whom I’ve already suggested should be the prime suspect.

Despite having some ongoing story threads, ‘Under the Dome’ is showing signs that it will be much less of a serialized show this season and more of a procedural, as each episode now seems to focus on a problem or issue in the town that gets resolved at the end of the hour. Last week dealt with the dome’s magnetism, and now this week we get the butterflies. Next week, it will rain blood. I kid you not.


  1. The people in this town are such morons. The events of the series have only taken place over a period of a couple weeks in the narrative. During that time, Big Jim has done countless overtly evil things, including trying to murder Barbie right in front of everyone. Yet all the townsfolk are like, “We love you, Big Jim. You’re our messiah! You can save the town, Big Jim!” Buncha dipshits.

  2. Chris Bennett

    Yeah I jumped ship on this P.O.S. show halfway through last season, it’s fucking awful…at least we’re all in agreement.

  3. Peter

    The show was never great, but I watched last summer because it did enough to keep it interesting in the summer time when there are really no other shows I was interested in when it started. But the first two episodes this season really seem to have gone from kind of silly to terrible. Everybody, except maybe Big Jim (probably due to Norris’ abilities), seems like a one dimensional stereotype rather than real people. And they are incredibly stupid. To me, the show was never great, but so far this season is quite a bit below last year. It seems like its written and directed by a group of high school sophomores as their creative project for the summer.

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